After the interview, my Dad headed to work and David and I joined the rest of the Ames's (most of them) for breakfast at a local diner. While eating, I spotted my high-school environmental club advisor with his wife and a bunch of students, waiting for a table - what a surprise! It amazes me how often I run into people I know in Salt Lake; after years in Berkeley, I've come to expect not to see many familiar faces.
I saw the last LOTR with friends after breakfast, and then we ate vegetarian beef and other things at Long Life Veggie House, then hunted for Christmas Street - a street of houses that covered themselves in lights for Christmas - only to learn that it no longer exists. Then Clio, darthabsinthe, Adam, dag29580863, and I watched temperategoddss and her boyfriend play with Taylorsville orchestra. I recognized many pieces from high school orchestra, and afterwards Clio and I reminisced about which parts we had faked. :~) After temperategoddss had packed up her cello, we made our way to the local Dee's where we drank hot cocoa and made table art.
Then we drove back to east Salt Lake (I almost said East Bay!) and wandered the cemetery next to Clio's house, which was magically alight with candles in sacks and the floating park lights of cars (and the occasional headlights of the inconsiderate). We frolicked around a few candles and noticed that a few had burned their enclosures. When we got too cold to wander more, we disbanded for the night.
The next day dag29580863 and I went to a new shopping plaza with Clio to finish Christmas shopping. This plaza had a fountain like the Bellagio's, which sprayed water in time to music (usually cheesy inspirational stuff, says Clio, who often studies this shopping center in architecture classes). We ended up in the gift store of the new planetarium, which I'd like to visit before I leave. I really loved the old one, but the building it was in was definitely too small. On the way back, we watched a swarm of birds swirl as if collectively attached by a spring around a billboard at 39th and 7th, all changing direction almost simultaneously. It reminded me of the simple rules of "boids," which I had a fascination with a couple of years ago.
I got almost everybody books and games this year. I had to restrain myself with kids' presents - there are just too many really cool things out there that I want to get for my cousins, but shouldn't because I'll go broke if I do. I'm giving them a collective present of starry ceilings with the accurate summer night sky. I have a kit (projectors distort too much), extra paint, and star charts for the older ones, and am going to promise painting service for all but the two that live in France. I had a starry ceiling as a kid, and loved it.
dag29580863 left today for home, where he'll stay for the next few weeks. I feel a bit at a loss, but I watched Amelie with my dad which always makes everything look magical. And now I sleep.